2007 Redesign

April 15th, 2007 / 86 Comments was created May 18, 2005 and a much improved version two was later released April of 2007. Why a revision you ask? Quite frankly, both I and the web are at different places than we were 2 years ago particularly in terms of how the web is used and the code that more modern browsers like Firefox and IE7 can support. More specifically, I also had a desire to bring all of my content into the Wordpress open source blogging CMS that part of my original site was built on. The redesign also provided an opportunity for several other enhancements.

Frontend Code

Make no mistake, my previous site was built using lean and mean standards compliant XHTML and CSS, only now the code is…well, leaner and meaner (and stricter)! I’m also particularly excited about the condensed CSS organization I’ve devised. Perhaps it’s my lack of a background in programming, but in viewing other developers style sheets I soon grew tired of scrolling down pages and pages of code that was only 20 or so characters wide. After working with my method on the Duke Law redesign, I’m sold on how easier it makes finding elements and comparing different sections of the CSS document. I’ll be explaining it in more detail soon, but you can get a head start by looking at my CSS.

Backend Code

As I mentioned, this site is run almost entirely through Wordpress. I’ve become quite familiar with Wordpress while working on other projects to the point where I can pretty much get it to do what I want. Wordpress also saves me a lot of time through the many plugins that are available. At present I’m using:

In addition, I’ve also created a custom php filter that reads the category id and displays the appropriate section graphic and darkens the navigation text.

Getting the navigation text to bottom align was also a bit tricky. During testing I realized that Mac’s bold is…well, bolder, and that the helvetica a little extra loving. So I threw together a basic php browser conditional that gives Safari users a specific stylesheet and Mac users (or more correctly Mac users running firefox) their own sheet as well.


As time went by it became obvious that my previous site might be suffering from overdesign. Overdesign can happen when too many graphic elements crowd a page making the actual content difficult for the visitor to parse. For version 2 I aimed for a cleaner, modern look to display the content free from clutter. The simplicity (both internal and external) will hopefully allow me to make design changes easily, and frequently.

The present site has been particularly influenced by the following:

Special recognition is reserved for Mark Boulton’s article on Design and the Divine Proportion which created the spark, and the foundation, for the present template.


What does Christianity have to do with the design of this site? Well, it seems that there has been a surge in Christian discussion about the Church’s need for good design. Unfortunately, absent from most of this discussion is a concern for theological implications in design. Part of my site design is an effort to reshape Christian thinking about design. At the time of this posting, the site has a strong presence of yellow (gold) on the links, headings, and footer. The color was chosen because it represents the season of Easter within the Church Calendar. When Pentecost arrives, the color palate of this site will change to red. The purpose is, consistent with that of the Church, to help bring to mind the identity of the Church, presently: Yellow and/or Gold as representative of Christ as King and light of the world.

* For the time being the color change happens manually, but at some point I hope to write a program that will make this change automatic.


If you’ve made it this far you’ve achieved a small measure of vested interest in my site (or you’re my mother). Either way, as a freelance developer I’m rather isolated at times so I’d love any feedback you have regarding the site whether visual, technical, or even theological. Thanks for visiting.

Comments (86)

  1. Jenny / April 20, 2007 /

    Beautiful design. I’m not one for nitpicking, so I can’t say much on the “BE BRUTAL” side. I love it all. Good work.

  2. Gene Cayce / April 24, 2007 /

    Very nice. Reminds me of European styling. Sweet & simple. Gene

  3. Chris J. Davis / May 18, 2007 /

    Hey Scott, beautiful job on your redesign. I am flattered that you found something inspiring in the design of my site. I have since redesigned myself to address some of the same concerns you voiced in this very entry.

    I look forward to seeing more of your design and aesthetic sensibilities in the future.

  4. Scott Lenger / May 20, 2007 /

    Hey Chris,

    Thanks for stopping by and for the compliment. Also congratulations on being the first American Orthodox visitor to my site!

    Aside from looking rad in its white/black/hotpink theme, your site (in its previous incarnation) was responsible for helping me lose the "sidebar of cruft" that had worked its way into my previous site and in general showing how simplicity can be elegant.

  5. Nick W / February 22, 2008

    Scott you seem to have done a great job designing the site. I really like it, I also like the mixture of Theology and web design or better put the removing of the
    “and” in “Theology and web design.”

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You have…shown a real grasp of what we are trying to accomplish in a way that is really both magnificent and flattering.

Prof. James Boyle


Hi, my name is Scott and I design websites. You can see some of them by visiting my portfolio. When I have the time (which is seldom these days) I like to blog about Christianity, especially theology/ethics. If you want to know more you can read my about page or follow me on Twitter.


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